For decades, badge engineering has been a popular way for automakers to maximize the versatility and value of any given chassis or platform. The Pick of the Day is a perfect example of a car that applied a new narrative to an existing platform: a 1973 Oldsmobile Omega that shares underpinnings – and a whole lot more – with the Chevrolet Nova.
This Omega two-door sports coupe comes in a coat of red paint that is color-matched to the wheels, and features such niceties as a vinyl roof and dual exhaust outlets, according the private seller in Manheim, Pennsylvania, advertising the Olds on ClassicCars.com.
The interior is equally presentable in two-tone white vinyl and houndstooth cloth for both the front and rear benches. The listing conveys that the car drives as well as it looks: “Runs great, sounds great, drives straight, looks good.”
The Oldsmobile brand was dissolved by General Motors in 2004, but in the 1970s, Olds was on a roll with such high-performing hits as the 442 muscle car. The Omega, which debuted in 1973, was considered a compact entry and one of four models in separate GM divisions based on the X-body platform, including the Nova, Buick Apollo and Pontiac Ventura.
While the silhouettes and underpinnings of each car mirrored each other, distinctions were applied to the exterior styling, interior appointments and the drivetrain options.
During its first generation, the Omega slotted just above the Nova in the GM hierarchy. Omega body styles included a two-door coupe, three-door hatchback and four-door sedan. The nose featured a “split waterfall” design and a unique layout for the headlights and marker lights. Woodgrain interior trim was another way the Omega set itself apart from the lower-priced Nova.
Under the hood, two powerplants were available for the first-generation Omega: A 250cid inline-6 and a 350cid Rocket V8. Power for this Omega comes from the latter, and the seller believes the engine received upgrades under prior ownership – among them, a performance camshaft.
If Omega means “end,” then could this 1973 Omega – from the first model year of production – be the beginning of the end? Or the end of the beginning? Either way, it looks to be a nice example of a car that’s likely rarer today than the run-of-the-mill Nova.
The seller is asking $14,900. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.